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Green Ronin to Release DC Adventures RPG Books

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Holy Frak!



Game Industry Leader Signs Licensing Deal with DC Comics

May 3, 2010--SEATTLE, WA and NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Green Ronin Publishing announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with DC Comics and will be releasing the DC ADVENTURES RPG book this August. The game is based on Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds, the leading super-hero RPG in the tabletop gaming world.

"It is DC's 75th anniversary this year and I'm delighted we can help celebrate it by bringing the DC Universe back to the roleplaying hobby," said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. "The team-up of the DCU and the creators behind Mutants & Masterminds will create an unstoppable force of great gaming!"

The DC ADVENTURES game will consist of four books, each done in full color and beautifully illustrated by top comic artists. The line launches in August with the DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook. Following it will be Heroes & Villains, Volume 1 in the fall. Then 2011 will see the release of Heroes & Villains, Volume 2 and DC ADVENTURES: Universe.

More information and previews of the DC Adventures line will appear on http://www.mutantsandmasterminds.com in the coming months.

About Green Ronin Publishing

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle-based company known for its dedication to quality books and games. Founded in 2000, Green Ronin has won more awards for excellence and innovation than any other game company in the new millennium, and took home the coveted ENnie Award for Best Publisher an unprecedented three years running. With great licenses like Dragon Age and A Song of Ice and Fire, groundbreaking games like Mutants & Masterminds and Blue Rose, and a roster of top flight designers and illustrators, Green Ronin Publishing is a leading light in the hobby game industry.

About DC Comics

DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC Super Heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics' Web site is located at http://www.dccomics.com.

Green Ronin, Mutants & Masterminds, and their associated logos are trademarks of Green Ronin Publishing.

Discussion thread @ the ATT, started by Steve Kenson himself

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  • 2 weeks later...
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There are fourteen of each (heroes and villains) in the DC Adventures Hero's Handbook. Exactly who will be revealed in time, but most of them are pretty easy to guess (especially the heroes).

New interview with Chris Pramas:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/27738 ... ks-dc.html

Has some good information on how the tie-in deal with DC Adventures came to be, along with other stuffs.

Edit: Superman is PL 15. According to the interview... =D

...and Batman has 72 Points in "things-that-aren't-feats-anymore" according to Steve on another forum.

Looks like now that the cat is out of the bag, the kittens just can't wait to get out too!

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DC ADVENTURES Design Journal #3

Speaking of power, one thing we wanted the sample heroes in the Hero's Handbook to do was provide benchmarks for players, gamemasters, and designers of the game, so they could look at, say, Superman's Strength or Batman's Investigation skill and use them to gauge where their own characters should fall on the scale. So the first thing we did was come up with power levels for all of the heroes in the book:

You might immediately think that DC's "trinity" of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman should all be power level 20, the very top of the scale, right? After all, they are the world's greatest heroes. So why are they "only" power levels 12, 15, and 15 (respectively) and why is Batman, of all people, a lower power level than the other two?

A lot of it is in understanding what power level is and what it's used for. All power level does is provide a guideline for players to follow in creating and improving their DC Adventures heroes, and it gives an idea of the kind of capabilities, particularly combat capabilities, you can expect from a character. On the other hand, consider the power point totals for the "trinity": They're all within just 4 points of each other, and all of them at values close to the recommended starting points for power level 19!

Darkseid and Black Adam tied for highest power level characters in the book, although Darkseid wins out in terms of point total (weighing-in at about 30 power points more than Black Adam).

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I see WW as PL 13-14 that can "gear up" to PL 15, but whatever. One gripe I do have:

On the other hand, consider the power point totals for the "trinity": They're all within just 4 points of each other, and all of them at values close to the recommended starting points for power level 19!

This is bad design IMO. Now I realize the trinity comes with a lot of baggage, but honestly I think its a sign of overkill and trying to stuff too much into the builds. That being said, I'd love to be proven wrong.

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I really wish RPG designers would, in general, stop giving NPCs so much more "XP" than PCs get to start with. There still seems to be an ubiquitous assumption throughout the industry that RPG campaigns happen over long periods of time, when the reality is that the vast majority of them collapse before their intended conclusion. The designers assume that the PCs will earn a whole bunch of "XP" that most of them will never actually see. I'd like to see a lot more "front-loading." When you create a character for an RPG, you have to make sure they fit your "vision" as much as possible from the start, because it's far more likely than not that you will never get to "eventually build them up to where you want them to be."

As it is, most players have to look at those NPCs in the book and sigh with resignation, thinking "I will never be as powerful/badass/etc. as them."

I'd also like to see "character advancement" stop being the sole reason for playing in the eyes of most players, but that's a separate (if related) issue.

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DC ADVENTURES Design Journal #4

Last week, we revealed which DC heroes and villains will be detailed in the DC Adventures Hero's Handbook. This week, we take a look at a complete character sheet for one of those heroes, the Emerald Gladiator, the Green Lantern!

They've changed the basic abilities! No Str/Dex/Con/Int/Wis/Cha, now it's Strength, Stamina, Agility, Dexterity, Fighting, Intellect, Awareness, and Presence.

(Con --> Stamina, Dex --> Agility, Intelligence --> Intellect, Wisdom --> Awareness, Charisma --> Presence, I'd wager.)

New skills: Athletics (Acrobatics/Climb/Swim?), Close Combat: Unarmed (Attack Focus/Attack Specialization is a skill now?), Deception (Bluff/Disguise?), Expertise (Profession?), Insight (Sense Motive?), Perception (Notice/Search?), Persuasion (Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate?), Ranged Combat (Attack Focus/Attack Specialization is a skill now?), Vehicles (Drive/Pilot?).

Looks like Fighting is base Melee Attack, modified by ranks in a Close Combat skill. And Dexterity is base Ranged Attack, modified by ranks in a Ranged Combat skill.

AP's now called AE -- Alternate ???

"Movement" power folds in Environmental Adaptation and Space Flight?

Super-Senses got reworked?

New category called "Advantages" -- replaces Feats?

Dodge and Parry? No Reflex save?

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We've been playing a long time...players have a strength that cannot be measured...

This is ShaenTheBrain. If you're reading this...then you are The Player Base.

I thought our knew our rules...but something has changed...and in this edition...I don't know if we can win this game.

I've never seen rules like these before.

I know 3E is not the enemy.

If we stay the course with 2E, we are dead! We are all dead!

...3E is the only hope we have.

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Hrmm, looks like Flight might have gotten a bit of a tweak.

Flight: Flight 14 (32,000 MPH), Movement 4 (Environmental Adaptation: Zero-G, Space Travel 3) • 36 points

Apparently they've changed around the progression table. A Flying speed of 32,000 used to be between Ranks 11 and 12.

As for their stats, I'd wager that Agility is for whole body cooderination and Dexterity is for fine manipulation. Also, Fighting is a stat now. My thought is that it is the ability modifier for Close Combat: Unarmed, or Close Combat: Unarmed is keyed off of Agility and a focused skill like that counts 2 for one. Where as he Power Ring appears to be keyed off of Dexterity.

Mentioning the power ring, I would like to see how the Devices work now. The Power Ring cost 124 points and granted 124 points. Why the 24 point drawback on removable was included is beyond me. I can't discern a pattern for what the applicable cost/rank is.

Dodge/ Parry reminds me of White Wolf unfortunately. There are likely going to be certain attacks that you may only use one defense for. Ie: you cannot parry a fireball, but you can dodge it. Therefore, they could be considered like Reflex and Defense respectively. Just spit balling here, but this will be a decision between like General Area and Targeted area for discerning applicable targets, there may also be extras that change which is which.

Also, Hal has 66 ranks in skills, you'll notice that cost him 33 points. Gonna suck to be a skill monkey.

Likewise, he's got 42 points in his Abilities, for a point cost of 21. What we expected.

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Mentioning the power ring, I would like to see how the Devices work now. The Power Ring cost 124 points and granted 124 points. Why the 24 point drawback on removable was included is beyond me. I can't discern a pattern for what the applicable cost/rank is.

I'm sure there is a cost break to having removable gadgets, similar to DC Heroes. My guess is that it's a 20% break, rounded down.

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DC ADVENTURES Design Journal #5

The Game System Top 10

With the appearance of a full hero write-up for Green Lantern last week, everyone is abuzz about what to expect from the game system of DC Adventures. Here's a list of the top ten modifications and updates to the Mutants & Masterminds game rules you'll see:

1. Abilities

Rather than the original six abilities of M&M, DC Adventures has eight with the addition of a Fighting ability (representing a character's raw close combat capability) and Agility, splitting off the movement capabilities from the fine motor skills of Dexterity.

We also changed the names of some of the existing abilities to make them better fit the super-hero style, rather than the game's d20 ancestry. So we have Stamina, Intellect, Awareness, and Presence in place of Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Strength and Dexterity remain unchanged, save for the aforementioned split between Agility and Dexterity, which helps to spread out the ability's elements, keeping it from becoming a single "uber-ability".

As previously mentioned, the system also streamlines abilities by assigning them a single numerical rank, dropping the previous ability score used to calculate that rank. Now abilities simply cost 2 point per rank.

Lastly, note that the prior Attack and Defense scores have been folded into abilities, based off of Fighting and Dexterity (for close and ranged attacks) and Fighting and Agility (for parry and dodge defense) modified by specific skills. Now the odd-duck traits of combat work the same way as other abilities and skills do.

2. Skills

Speaking of skills, DC Adventures slims down and streamlines the game's skill list. Where possible, multiple redundant skills (Climb and Swim, for example) are folded into a single skill (Athletics). Various specialty skills like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession have become a single Expertise skill. We've also added Close Combat and Ranged Combat skills, helping unify the skill system as a whole.

The smaller skill list means a bump in skill cost: 1 power point per 2 skill ranks, since characters typically have fewer overall skills (and therefore ranks in them). We also simplified power level limits with regard to skills with a flat (PL+10) ceiling for total skill bonus.

3. Advantages

Feats are gone, but not forgotten. They are replaced with Advantages, which perform the same function: minor benefits and abilities, most often for things a character either has or does not have. We generally consolidated the advantage list, making ample use of the Benefit advantage to cover a lot of general ground.

Other modifications to advantages include making many combat advantages like Power Attack into improved versions of combat maneuvers (so everyone can Power Attack, those with the advantage simply do so better) and use of circumstance modifiers (see below) to clarify the relationship between advantages and power level.

4. Effects

Powers in DC Adventures have been clearly divided into effects, which are the components and game elements, and the powers themselves, which are made up of one or more effects with modifiers. So Damage, for example, is an effect, whereas a Blast is Ranged Damage, possibly with some other modifiers and appropriate descriptors, such as electricity or force. Similarly, razor-sharp claws are Close Damage, perhaps with the Penetrating modifier. Powers may even have arrays of Alternate Effects, choosing between different ones each round.

Again, where possible, effects have been consolidated and made consistent. For example, the Affliction effect and its modifiers allow you to custom-build a wide range of powers that impose certain conditions, including Dazzle, Mind Control, Sleep, Snare, and Suffocation, to name a few. You can even fine-tune the power so your Dazzle has different conditions (or imposes additional ones). The pre-built powers are simply examples of what you can do with the effects and modifiers.

5. Defenses

"Saving throws" are converted to defenses in DC Adventures, values used for both the difficulty of certain attack or effect checks, and for resistance checks against certain effects. So your character's Dodge defense determines the difficulty to hit him with a ranged attack, and may also be used for a resistance check to narrowly avoid a danger or trap.

6. Complications

Complications come into their own in DC Adventures, taking over the role filled by drawbacks as well (some power drawbacks get turned into flaws for effects). Now pretty much anything that causes trouble for the heroes is handled as a complication which earns the players hero points. They range from personal issues and dramatic subplots to vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and physical challenges. In particular, players are encouraged to define their hero's motivation as a complication, which the GM can use as a story hook, rewarding the player with hero points for doing so.

7. Actions

We provide a clear breakdown of different types of actions during a conflict, including some new ones like Recover (letting you take an action to remove a damage condition), and modified actions like Grab, the new-and-improved version of grappling.

8. Conflict

The game's combat rules are generally cleaned-up. Modifications include the addition of maneuvers like All-out Attack, Defensive Attack, and so forth; different ways of performing actions that affect how the checks for that action are rolled. There are also additional options for critical hits beyond increased effect, including adding an additional effect onto the attack--such as a critical hit that blinds or stuns in addition to doing damage--or even having an alternate effect.

9. Circumstance Modifiers

The vast majority of situational modifiers in the game have been consolidated into a simple scheme of +2 for an advantage (+5 for a major advantage) and -2 for a disadvantage (-5 for a major one). Various conditions, effects, maneuvers, and so forth reference these circumstance modifiers and they provide a quick guideline for applying modifiers to any situation. Circumstance modifiers (being situational) do not count towards power level; anyone can partake of them, depending on the circumstances.

10. Rank & Measure

Lastly, DC Adventures uses a consolidated table for converting game ranks into real-world measurements of things like distance, time, mass, and so forth. This applies some consistency across the board in terms of how abilities and effects work, and allows for quick in-game calculations like the distance a character can cover with a particular movement effect rank (since speed + time = distance).

The Rank & Measure table is broadly used throughout the game, bringing many game systems under the same set of guidelines.

There's much more: addressing things like specific power effects, modifiers, actions like grabbing, and so forth, all designed to make things clearer, most consistent, and easier to use. We'll take a look at further examples and get a look at the game system in action in an upcoming design journal. Stay tuned!

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The smaller skill list means a bump in skill cost: 1 power point per 2 skill ranks, since characters typically have fewer overall skills (and therefore ranks in them). We also simplified power level limits with regard to skills with a flat (PL+10) ceiling for total skill bonus.
That's a gonna be a lot of leg work on our part.
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